Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Art Festival


From its humble beginnings as a neighborhood art crawl, the annual event known as Art-a-Whirl has expanded at such an exponential rate that it's now billed as the largest open-studio and gallery tour in the United States. Organized by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association, Art-a-Whirl draws from the enormous pool of artists who have set up shop in the neighborhood. Old-timers might bemoan the neighborhood's recent hip cachet, but it's hard to argue against the eclectic vibrancy that defines the area. Featuring over 500 artists exhibiting a staggering range of disciplines (and skill levels), Art-a-Whirl allows for such odd juxtapositions as masterfully lavish landscape paintings positioned next to antique motorcycle parts repurposed as household appliances. Backyard galleries mix with cavernous studios, emcompassed by a carnivalesque atmosphere of vendors hawking homemade jewelry, vintage clothing, original music, and just about any other wares that can be displayed on a folding table. Scheduled for May 20 to 22, the 2011 Art-a-Whirl is sure to offer far more diversions than can be experienced in a single weekend. Should fatigue set in, however, the neighborhood's copious restaurants and bars welcome visitors with live music and refreshing drinks. Rejecting any notion of pretension, this is one art festival that feels like the host neighborhood: thrillingly diverse, wildly creative, and exceptionally hospitable.

Best Actor Stephen Yoakam

Best Actress Maggie Chestovich

Best All-Ages Venue Triple Rock

Best AM Radio Personality TD Mischke, WCCO-AM 830

Best Art Gallery Cult Status Gallery

Best Band Name Ogre Smash Death Boom

Best Band to Break Up in the Past 12 Months Lookbook

Best Blues Artist Charlie Parr

Best Blues Club Wilebski's Blues Saloon

Best Cartoonist Kevin Cannon

Best Choreographer Uri Sands

Best Classical Musician Cantus

Best Club DJ Jake Rudh

Best Columnist Jon Tevlin, Star Tribune

Best Comedy (Theater) The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Mixed Blood Theatre)

Best Concert of the Past 12 Months (Local) Mark Mallman's Marathon 3 at the Turf Club

Best Concert of the Past 12 Months (Touring) Ms. Lauryn Hill at First Avenue

Best Concert Venue First Avenue

Best Dance Club First Avenue

Best Dance Company Zenon Dance Company

Best Dance Performance of the Past 12 Months Feet Don't Fail Me Now!, Rhythmic Circus

Best Dancer Nic Lincoln

Best Director Peter Rothstein

Best Drama (Theater) Life's a Dream (Ten Thousand Things)

Best FM Radio Personality Steve Seel, 89.3 the Current

Best Folk Artist Roma di Luna

Best Hip-Hop Artist Sims

Best Jazz Artist Atlantis Quartet

Best Jazz Club Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Best Karaoke Vegas Lounge

Best Lesbian Night Twilight at Kitty Cat Klub

Best Live Band The Goondas

Best Local Album of the Past 12 Months Relayted> by Gayngs

Best Local Music Broadcast Radio K's Off the Record

Best Local YouTube Video Metrodome roof collapse

Best Movie Theater The Trylon

Best Museum Science Museum of Minnesota

Best Museum Exhibition From Here to There: Alec Soth's America

Best Musical (Theater) Violet (Theater Latte Da)

Best New Band Phantom Tails

Best Non-Movie Theater Place to See a Movie Minnesota Orchestra

Best Original Comedy Company Joking Envelope

Best Place to Be an Artist The Atelier

Best Place to Entertain Your Kids Valleyfair

Best Punk Rock Literary Series Riot Act Reading Series

Best R&B Artist Mint Condition

Best Radio Station 89.3 the Current

Best Rock Band Hastings 3000

Best Rock Club Triple Rock Social Club

Best Songwriter Jeremy Messersmith

Best Sports Talk Radio Host Phil Mackey, ESPN-AM 1500

Best Strip Club The Seville

Best Tattoo Artist Megan Hoogland

Best Theater Theater Latte Da

Best TV Newscaster Mark Albert, KSTP

Best TV Sports Anchor Mark Rosen, WCCO

Best TV Station TPT MN

Best TV Weatherperson Sven Sundgaard, KARE 11

Best Vocalist (Female) Channy Moon Casselle

Best Vocalist (Male) Isaac Gale